The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

November 28, 2012

Don’t like my election answers? You can get different ones almost everywhere you turn

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — There are many different answers to the questions we are asking about last week’s elections.

Why and how did Obama win?

Was Romney’s team really surprised that they lost?

Why, when Democrats were making gains throughout the rest of the country, did they lose so much in North Carolina?

You can get answers anywhere and everywhere. And if you do not like those answers, you can go around the corner and get different ones, maybe more to your liking.

I think Obama’s win was as much a mandate for further change as it was a rejection of the prospect of going back to 2008, to a time of financial crisis and Middle East wars without an end in sight. And, narrowly, it was a rejection of the prospect of refighting the battle over health care reform.

Republican consultant Carter Wrenn says that it would be a mistake to pinpoint just one reason for Obama’s win. However, he believes that the Democrats’ organization and modern voter turnout effort was an important trump card.

Along the same lines, Tom Drew, a fund raising consultant for a number of organizations, including the National Rifle Association, believes the $500 million spent by Republican groups in support of Romney was misdirected. It was used to buy a barrage of television ads in the last six weeks of the campaign. These ads were not nearly as effective as the intensive ground game of the Obama campaign which focused on identifying supporters and insuring that they voted.

Although the NRA put together a similar intensive turnout effort in support of Romney, it had some counterproductive results in Wisconsin. Earlier this year the NRA developed a strong get-out-the-vote effort among gun owners’ families that helped defeat the effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker. The NRA mounted a similar effort in last week’s election to bring out the gun owners’ families again to vote for Romney.  Just as the NRA and the Republicans hoped, a large majority of men who owned guns did vote for Romney. But there was a problem. Many of the gun owners’ wives didn’t. Upset with Romney’s strident stand on abortion, they voted for Obama.

To illustrate the incredible reach of the Democratic effort, longtime Jim Hunt advisor Gary Pearce tells about an Obama worker in Wilson County. She was told to visit a trailer park “that she had never heard of before” and to find the mobile home where an Obama supporter lived and get that particular person to vote. She did. Another vote for Obama. He also tells of another North Carolina Obama supporter who got a tweet after the polls closed here asking her to call someone in Wisconsin, who was an identified Obama supporter who had not yet voted.

What about North Carolina? Why did it buck the pattern of Democratic gains almost everywhere else in the country? Pearce says several factors gave McCrory a special boost that helped him to a big victory. McCrory came close to winning in 2008 and also had a statewide organization and recognition, no primary opposition and lots of money. Meanwhile, Walter Dalton was less well known and got off to a slow start due to Governor Perdue’s late announcement that she would not run. He had a tough primary contest and very little money to apply to the fall campaign. Dalton had to carry the burden of the scandals and trials that tarnished prior Democratic administrations. Thus, McCrory’s success does not reflect a permanent shift in North Carolina voter preferences.

Pointing out the reelection success of other Democratic statewide candidates, Pearce argues that the state is still competitive for both political parties.

Of course, if you do not like my answers you can get a variety of different ones from almost anybody you ask.


Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Mike Walden The gains and gaps in our economy

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd Yellow journalism takes on new form, people are dumber for it

    Time to get on the soapbox for a few minutes.
    Let me clear my throat. Eh ... hem!
    People are dumb.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

    RALEIGH – A busy slate of judicial elections this November got even busier recently when Judge John Martin of the N.C. Court of Appeals announced his retirement.
    A special statewide election to fill Martin’s seat will be added to the general election ballot, joining the four N.C. Supreme Court seats and three N.C. Court of Appeals races already slated for this fall.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Fake news or sign of some more trouble?

    RALEIGH – Of the three situations I can recall where agencies receiving large sums of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t divulge employees’ salaries, two of them ended badly. The third – involving a group of charter schools in Southeastern North Carolina – is playing out right now.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    WASHINGTON - The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • D.G. Martin Where did all these new voters in North Carolina come from?

    “Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”
    So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Some light for Dems in their time of darkness

    RALEIGH – Earlier this year, state Sen. Ben Clark, a Hoke County Democrat, became a hero for a day among his party and environmentalists when his amendment to require more well water testing near future fracking sites passed the Senate. It even gained the support of a number of GOP senators, against the wishes of the Republican bill sponsor.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Maintaining hope

    Gardeners are facing challenges with the weather this year. It seemed like we were getting great conditions in April and May. The weather was warm and we were getting some good rains. Then sometime in June the rain stopped. It got so dry that I didn’t have to cut the grass. While I enjoyed the break, the garden was not happy at all. I was having to water quite a bit to keep the vegetable garden alive and growing.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content